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GovExec Daily

This daily podcast for federal audiences that address the top stories for each day ahead. Host Ross Gianfortune interviews newsmakers, GovExec staff and experts for analysis of the news of the day.


The End of the Public Health Emergency Means Health Care Changes for Feds
Earlier this month, the federal government ended its COVID-19 public health emergency after three years. Nationwide, Americans likely may not notice the changes in the way the government treats the pandemic, but health insurance will not cover COVID-19 vaccines and  treatment in the same way. Federal employees participating in the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program will see similar changes to their coverage because of the end of the public health emergency. Kevin Moss is a senior editor with Consumers’ Checkbook. Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees is available now. He’s also a GovExec contributor and his latest post is “Fed Health Care Changes and the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.” He joined the podcast to discuss the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program and the ways that it is changing because of the end of the public health emergency.
10:58 5/24/23
Rehiring Federal Retirees 'Makes Sense,' If Agencies Can Get the Go-Ahead
Hiring is a difficult task for any organization, but federal agencies have stresses that others do not. With waves of retirement happening at agencies like the IRS, Veterans Affairs Department and others, open positions go unfilled for extended periods of time. But, our guest today writes that retirees are a good source of talent for the federal government, if only it were not so hard to hire them back. Ronald Sanders was a federal civil servant for almost 40 years, serving in senior positions with the Defense Department, the IRS and the Office of Personnel Management.  He is also of “Federal Retirees Could Be a Great Talent Source, If Only It Were Easier to Bring Them Back.” He joined the podcast to discuss his post and bring federal retirees to agencies. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:  
26:40 5/23/23
The Racial Gap in the Financial Industry
The financial industry is behind other industries in adopting DEI principles. With DEI becoming more of a priority, financial organizations are grappling with both history and the present within the DEI framework.  Jim Casselberry is CEO and Co-Founder at Known, LLC and has more than thirty years of experience in the financial advising and investment management industries. As part of our #MoneyMonday series, he joined the podcast to talk about diversity in the financial industry.
24:43 5/22/23
Deadlines, Default and the Debt Ceiling Negotiations
The debt ceiling hangs over federal employees as an unprecedented default could come as soon as the first week in June. Negotiations remain ongoing as President Joe Biden attends the G7 summit in Japan this week, but Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that the two sides are still far apart. Still, both sides remain optimistic that a deal will be struck before a default. GovExec reporter Eric Katz joined the podcast to talk about the debt ceiling negotiations and how they continue to affect federal employees. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
23:57 5/19/23
What Public Health Lessons Need to Be Learned from the COVID Crisis?
In the last few weeks, both the World Health Organization and the U.S. federal government have lifted declarations of COVID-19’s crisis status. As the U.S. public health infrastructure moves away from that period, preparing for the next public health crisis will be paramount. Lessons learned from the COVID-19 response can provide better response to the next pandemic or emergency situation. Dr. Richard Stone is an Army Major General who served as the Deputy Surgeon General of the Army and as the Executive in Charge at the Veterans Health Administration during the COVID-19 crisis. He is the author of the recently released Save Every Life You Can: A Reflection on Leadership and Saving Lives During the COVID-19 Pandemic. He joined the podcast to talk about public health systems, leadership and his experience during the pandemic. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
23:00 5/18/23
Remote Work Has Been Controversial For Decades
Before maximum telework, there was flexiplace and telecommuting. Agencies in the late 20th century had a version of telework, though that version seems like it belongs in the stone age to modern eyes used to VPNs, Slack and other modern components of telework.  Tom Shoop is editor at large and the former executive vice president and editor in chief at GovExec Media. He is also the author of a post in his “That Time” series headlined “That Time Even Minimum Telework Was Viewed With Wonder and Fear.” He joined the podcast to talk about the history and evolution of telework at agencies. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
16:43 5/17/23
The General Schedule is Stuck in the 20th Century
The General Schedule was enacted into law in 1949 and remains to this day.  Of course, much has changed in government since 1949 and the changes to the General Schedule have not kept up with the time. Our guests today write that the GS system has been described to them by feds as trying to work while wearing cement shoes.  Doris Hausser and Kimberly Walton are former federal human capital senior executives. They are both Fellows of the National Academy of Public Administration, where they serve on the Standing Panel on the Public Service. They’re also co-authors on the latest in a series of posts on GovExec addressing the challenges that face government modernization headlined “The General Schedule System Needs An Upgrade, Now.” They joined the podcast to discuss their post and the General Schedule. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
29:40 5/16/23
A Debt Ceiling Breach Could Mean the Federal Government Decides Not to 'Pay Any Government Employees This Week'
The United States Treasury Department reached the $31.3 trillion debt ceiling in January, prompting “extraordinary measures'' to keep the U.S. from a default. Economic experts have predicted an unprecedented default as soon as June. Negotiations around the debt limit are slow going, increasing the likelihood of major disruptions to government operations and dire consequences to the world economy. Dr. Patrick Gourley, PhD, is an associate professor of economics at the University of New Haven. He joined the podcast to discuss the debt ceiling landscape. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
13:31 5/15/23
Remote Work Can Bring Tensions, but Managers Can Calm Them
Since the COVID-19 pandemic came into our lives in 2020, remote work has become the norm in many organizations. Remote work gives hiring managers the ability to cast a wider net, it gives employees more flexibility and it is popular with the workforce. But, remote work can bring some heartburn, too and some organizations are slow to adapt to it. Shane Spraggs is the Forbes Books co-author, with Cynthia Watson, of The Power of Remote: Building High-Performing Organizations That Thrive in the Virtual Workplace. He is the CEO of Virtira, a completely virtual company that focuses on remote team performance. He joined the podcast to discuss remote work. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
16:21 5/12/23
The Public Health Emergency Is Ending… And Taking Maximum Telework With It
After more than three years, the federal COVID-19 public health emergency expires Thursday. While FDA and NIH officials have said that the end of the PHE will have minor impacts on their agencies, it has both symbolic and practical value for public servants. Telework and data collection will change, as well as things like free vaccines and tests for the public.  GovExec's Courtney Bublé, Eric Katz and Erich Wagner have been covering the COVID-19 pandemic since before the public health emergency began in 2020. they joined the podcast for a reporters' roundtable on the end of the PHE and how it will affect government. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
37:19 5/11/23
Hiring For Skills Against Hiring For Education
According to recent research, fewer employers see a meaningful relationship between a four-year college degree and job competency. According to a report from American Student Assistance and Jobs for the Future, 81% of employers believe that organizations should hire based on skills rather than degrees.  John W. Mitchell is president and CEO of the global electronics industry’s trade organization, IPC. He’s also the author of the upcoming book Fire Your Hiring Habits: Building an Environment that Attracts Top Talent in Today’s Workforce. He joined the podcast to talk about the connections between hiring and skills or education. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
16:12 5/10/23
There Are Many Threats to 'the Future of the Public Service Itself'
Despite this week being Public Service Recognition Week, the professional civil service remains under threat. The conversation around bureaucracy remains fairly toxic, the courts have knocked down agencies’ abilities to executive some laws and public figures continue to talk about the end of the administrative state.  Dr. Donald F. Kettl is professor emeritus at the University of Maryland and former dean of its School of Public Policy. He is the author of many books, including the upcoming Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems. He is a GovExec contributor and the author of a post headlined “The Gathering Storm Threatening the Civil Service.” He joined the podcast about his post and the threats to public servants.
22:59 5/9/23
Celebrating 'Unbelievable Things Happening All The Time' in Public Service
Government work is often complicated and difficult, but career federal employees often work in anonymity for the American people. Each year, the Partnership for Public Service awards the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalists to outstanding federal employees who serve the public good. This year’s finalists work in diverse parts of the federal government, ranging from diplomacy to space research to health data in cancer research and so much more. Max Stier is the president and CEO of the nonpartisan nonprofit, Partnership for Public Service. He joined the podcast to talk about the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals and Public Service Recognition Week.
15:23 5/8/23
With Artificial Intelligence and Leadership, There is a 'Learning Curve'
ChatGPT has generated a lot of attention not only from consumers, but also employees in both in the private and federal sector. ChatGPT is a powerful tool, with the ability to generate human-like responses to written prompts. While this technology has the potential to revolutionize the way federal employees work, it also raises important questions about privacy, employment, accountability, and the role of AI in government decision-making. Bonnie Low-Kramen is the founder and CEO of Ultimate Assistant Training & Consulting. She is a TEDx speaker and the author of Staff Matters: People-Focused Solutions for the Ultimate New Workplace. She joined the podcast to explore the promises and pitfalls of ChatGPT and its impact on the federal and private workforce. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
19:57 5/5/23
A Lot of Managers Don't Like Working With Gen Z
The generation born after 1996, commonly called "Gen Z" or "Zoomers," are now entering the workforce and bringing with them the unique characteristics that any generation brings to the workplace. Managing across generations is never easy, but according to a new survey from, managers are having some trouble working with Gen Z. Stacie Haller is chief career advisor at She’s spent over 30 years in staffing and recruiting, career counseling, and job search coaching. She joined the podcast to discuss the survey on how managers perceive the Zoomer generation in the workplace.  
14:37 5/4/23
Are Feds in and Around D.C. Going to Have to Go Into Offices Soon?
The Office of Personnel Management announced that the maximum telework edict will end this month with the cessation of the national public health emergency on May 11, though OPM chief Kiran Ahuja has said that the change will not have a significant impact on agencies. Telework for feds has been a political football and the three years of the pandemic suggest that flexibility overrides almost everything else. Still, plenty are pushing for more in-office work and the matter seems far from resolved. GovExec Daily’s Adam Butler and Ross Gianfortune discussed the state of telework in the federal government and in D.C. as the public health emergency comes to an end this month. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
34:17 5/3/23
Customer Service, Life Experiences and Technology
Earlier this year, the White House announced a series of projects that agencies are undertaking as part of an effort to reshape how government delivers services by focusing on citizens' experiences like retirement and other life events. With the Biden management agenda’s focus on customer experience, that will mean getting service to as many people as possible… in whatever ways are available.  Aaron Boyd is a Senior Editor at GovExec sibling site Nextgov. He’s also the author of a post on Nextgov headlined “The Low-Tech Side of Biden’s Push to Improve the ‘Life Experiences’ with Government.” which is part of a series exploring the Biden administration's push to improve citizens' interactions with government. He joined the podcast to talk about his series and CX in the Biden administration. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:  
19:12 5/2/23
The Debt Ceiling Negotiations Begin Again
Passed last week by the House of Representatives, the 2023 Limit, Save and Grow Act would slash discretionary spending at domestic agencies to its fiscal 2022 levels. The bill addresses the looming debt default that would have catastrophic impacts on the U.S. economy and government operations. The bill sets up debt ceiling negotiations on something that can pass to avoid the potential disaster of a default.  As part of our #MoneyMonday series, Eric Katz joined GovExec Daily to talk about the debt ceiling negotiations and how they affect federal employees. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
22:09 5/1/23
Chief Diversity Officers Need to Be Prepared to Manage
Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility are principles that the Biden administration has brought forward since it came into office. In June 2021, the president signed an executive order establishing a directive to agencies to seek opportunities to establish or elevate Chief Diversity Officers.  Recently, Accenture Federal Services and the Partnership for Public Service launched the Chief Diversity Officer Bootcamp to provide agencies with more of a pipeline of public servants with proper training.  Adam Jones is Talent & Human Potential Senior Manager in the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Practice at Accenture and Kevin Johnson is a director at the Partnership for Public Service, where he leads the Partnership’s external diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts across the organization. They joined the podcast to discuss the Chief Diversity Officer Bootcamp and DEIA in government. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
17:42 4/28/23
Public Servants Don't Feel Connected in the Workplace
Recently, the Office of Personnel management announced that it will end the use of maximum telework, following President Biden’s planned May expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The implementation of necessary telework during the last three years is among the many complications involved with employee connection in public service. According to a new survey by Eagle Hill Consulting, more than a third of government employees say that their employers aren’t investing in employee connection.  Andrew Edelson is Director of Client Solutions for Eagle Hill and a former GAO analyst. He joined the podcast to talk about the survey. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
16:41 4/27/23
Biden Is Officially Running For Reelection. What Has He Done For Public Servants?
On Tuesday morning, President Joe Biden officially announced that he will run for reelection. In his announcement, he cited Social Security and echoed his faith in American government. Since his election in 2020, Biden has positioned himself as a friend to government employees, seemingly in direct contrast to his predecessor – and potential 2024 foe – Donald Trump.  Courtney Bublé joined the GovExec Daily podcast to talk about the Biden announcement and what his first term has meant for federal employees. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
18:42 4/26/23
USERRA and Federal Employees
  Passed in 1994, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act is a law that, among other things, protects service members by allowing them to regain their civilian jobs following a period of uniformed service. MSPB recently refined federal employees’ rights under USERRA. Allen Shoikhetbrod is an employment attorney and the Managing Partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC’s Albany office. He joined the podcast to talk about the Uniformed Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the new protections therein.  
15:38 4/25/23
What Feds Need to Know About Getting the Most Out of the TSP
The Thrift Savings Plan is very popular with participants. A 2022 survey found that 88% of those investing with the TSP were satisfied with it. As the TSP has seen in prior surveys, participants who contribute more are more satisfied with the plan, which suggests that the famed TSP millionaire’s club are likely among those happy with the TSP. Abraham Grungold is a financial professional as the owner of AG Financial Services , a longtime federal employee and a member of the exclusive TSP millionaires club. As part of our #MoneyMonday series, he joined the podcast to talk about the strategies for the TSP and his experience with it. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
17:48 4/24/23 Has a Long Road Ahead of It
The promise of when it was launched was to have a single, secure signon for U.S. government sites. Since it launched to replace, however, has not fulfilled all of its promise, with concerns about security being highlighted in a recent GSA inspector general office report.  Natalie Alms is a staff writer at FCW covering federal technology policy, service delivery, customer experience and the government's tech workforce. She joined the podcast to discuss the latest news about 
22:25 4/20/23
Americans Are Interested in Digital Government Services
In the 21st century, Americans are used to having many easy interactions online, albeit mostly in the private sector. We interact with sites like Amazon and Google often and have come to expect that our interactions will be seamless and effective. Government does not have the same expectations, but many Americans do want to interact with government online and modernization is a key goal of federal officials. Deloitte Consulting recently released a report titled “The Digital Citizen: A Survey of How People in the United States Perceive Digital Government Services,” which examines how Americans interact with digital government and how they feel about it. Michele Causey is a Managing Director at Deloitte Consulting, where she leads digital government transformation practice. She joined the podcast to discuss the report and digital government.
15:37 4/19/23
The Government Hall of Fame Tells 'Heroic Stories' of Public Service
Despite the negative talk of the swamp or the deep state, the last few years have shown the import of government in the lives of Americans. From the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines to disaster recovery to the other services that government and stakeholders bring forward, public servants play a huge part in our society.  At GovExec’s Evening of Honors Gala on April 20, Government Executive and FCW will honor industry stakeholders, current and former government officials who have made historic achievements and advances across government. Tom Shoop is editor at large and the former executive vice president and editor in chief at GovExec Media. He joined the podcast to discuss the Government Hall of Fame and GovExec’s Evening of Honors.
11:52 4/18/23
A Bill Would Repeal an Expensive Tax Rule For Public Servants
The Social Security Amendments of 1983 brought forward, among other things, the  windfall elimination provision and government pension offset, two rules that impact public servants and their retirement. In the forty years since, concerns about the rules have come forward and this year, Rep. Abigail Spanberger asked her constituents how they experience the GPO and WEP, with thousands responding to a survey.  Rep. Spanberger is a Democrat representing Virginia's 7th district in the United States House of Representatives. She recently reintroduced the Social Security Fairness Act to eliminate the WEP and GPO. As part of our #MoneyMonday series, she joined the podcast to discuss the windfall elimination provision, the government pension offset and the results of her survey of her constituents.  
17:29 4/17/23
Workforce Priorities in the Intelligence Community
Intelligence agencies are prioritizing a number of workforce initiatives this year, including thousands of job openings at the National Security Agency and DEIA efforts at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. As part of ongoing hiring initiatives, intelligence agencies are looking for strong candidates for open IT and cyber positions.  As part of a recent Federal Computer Week webcast, FCW reporter Chris Riotta interviewed Christine Parker, acting senior adviser to the Chief Human Capital Officer for NSA. And LaLisha Hurt, industry advisor for the public sector federal at Splunk. In this episode, you’ll hear part of their conversation about workforce and hiring priorities in the intelligence community. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:  
30:38 4/14/23
The Social Security Administration Workforce is Burning Out
With a workforce of approximately 60,000 Social Security Administration administers retirement and disability benefits. But, union officials representing the agency’s workforce have noted  burnout and poor service delivery at SSA. The union has also called for more funding for the agency in the wake of inflation and national economic conditions. GovExec senior reporter Erich Wagner covers the federal workforce. He joined the podcast to talk about the Social Security Administration’s workforce concerns. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
18:11 4/13/23
The Feds are Getting More Accurate Processing Timelines for Clearances
A common complaint about the security clearance process is the incongruity between the timelines promised to applicants and the actual timeline of the process. But, new reporting benchmarks are underway right now, with the potential to make things clearer. Lindy Kyzer is the editor of, a former Defense Department employee and a GovExec contributor. Her latest post on our site is headlined “Say Good-bye to the Security Clearance Status Quo.” She joined the podcast to discuss her post and the way the clearance process may change. *** Follow GovExec on LinkedIn:
17:41 4/12/23

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